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NIVA Conference Unites Independent Live Entertainment Industry

Second Annual NIVA Conference, July 10-12 in D.C.

The National Independent Venue Association Conference 2023 (July 10-12) will bring together the independent live entertainment industry for panels, workshops, networking, and performances from across the country. 

NIVA Conference 2023 graphic
NIVA Conference 2023 graphic

As the leading conference for independent music and comedy venues, festivals, and the promoter industry, NIVA ‘23 will support, educate, and connect industry leaders across the U.S. “Important topics discussed this year will include industry diversity, mental health, safety, insurance, economic impact of live entertainment, booking, artist development, ticketing, and the role of live entertainment in policymaking.” 

Keynote panels will feature prominent industry leaders, members of the media, recording artists, and NIVA members. NIVA ‘23 will also give members the opportunity to engage with NIVA’s federal and national partners on Capitol Hill, in the Administration, and throughout the Capitol region.

“In welcoming the NIVA conference to the District, we look forward to showcasing the independent venues and creatives who keep D.C. the capital of creativity,” said The Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington, D.C. “And we have a lot to be proud of – from our vibrant Go Go scene, to the venues that have hosted and built generations of music fans, to the festivals that bring Washingtonians together year after year. D.C. residents love going to festivals and shows and supporting artists, and we know the important role our creative community will continue to play in D.C.’s comeback. We look forward to bringing NIVA members and industry experts together in D.C., and we’ll see you in July.”

The congressional fly-in’s goal “is to build on the foundation of the Save Our Stages campaign to ensure independent venues, festivals, and promoters continue to be a part of federal policymaking.”

NIVA Conference 2022 panel of 5
NIVA Conference '22 panel with Ethan Millman of Rolling Stone, Michael Dorf of City Winery, Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons, Tobi Parks of xBk, and Shahida Mausi of The Right Productions, Photo Courtesy of NIVA

“We have an incredible community of music industry stakeholders here in Washington, D.C.,” said Chris Naoum, co-founder of Listen Local First D.C., Down in the Reeds Festival and Vice Chair of the NIVA’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter. “The music and comedy communities rallied together during the pandemic to build a coalition that continues to work together on a weekly basis to advocate for live entertainment and uplift each other through the incredibly difficult times. The coalition we have built is one of the reasons D.C. was chosen for NIVA ‘23 and I am ecstatic that so many members of our community are excited to host this one-of-a-kind event.”

The weekend also will consist of live performances and events at multiple NIVA venues across D.C., a pre-party on July 9, and an awards gala July 10 at The Anthem. NIVA ‘23 coincides with National Independent Venue Week, making D.C. the epicenter of independent live music in the country the week of July 10.

NIVA Conference 2022 stage
NIVA Conference '22 stage, Photo By Rustin McCann

“Thousands of music and comedy venues across the country spent 2020 and 2021 focused on making the case to Washington D.C. policymakers that small businesses in live entertainment needed help to prevent the permanent loss of stages in every community, and NIVA’s efforts led to the largest arts investment in U.S. history,” said Stephen Parker, Executive Director of NIVA.

“This summer, the nation’s music and comedy community will return to D.C. to illustrate why the partnership between government and the independent live entertainment industry must continue beyond the pandemic, to forge the future for independent music and comedy venues, festivals and promoters and to demonstrate their place in America’s culture and economy.”

“The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) came together at a critical point for live music venues and deserves the lion’s share of the credit for successful enactment and implementation of the federal Save Our Stages program that truly did save hundreds of live music venues,” says Joe Lapan, co-owner of small D.C. venue Songbyrd Music House.

“Beyond that, NIVA has created a real network of independent venue owners and developed programs to benefit venues in the areas of health insurance, ticketing reforms and general best practices for indie venues,” he says. “We are really excited to be part of the NIVA Conference in D.C. this summer and believe that regional stakeholders in the live music industry should strongly consider attending the conference.” 

Save Our Stages graphic

NIVA is partnering with the following member venues and festivals to bring the 2023 conference to Washington, D.C.: All Things Go, Black Cat, DC Improv, DC9 Nightclub, Down in the Reeds Festival, I.M.P. (The Anthem, 9:30 Club and Lincoln Theatre), Listen Local First D.C., National Cannabis Festival, Pearl Street Warehouse, Rhizome, Songbyrd Music House, The Hamilton, The Pie Shop, The Pocket, U Street Music Hall Presents, and Union Stage.

Visit for more information about the conference and how to get involved with the organization that the nation’s capital, surrounding area, as well as entire country, are grateful to have.

Alchemical Records contributor Emma Page

Emma Page

Emma Page, a recent Journalism graduate of The George Washington University, possesses a passion for music journalism and storytelling in all its forms. Originally from Baltimore, MD, when she is not writing, she can be found at a local concert or making music of her own.

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